Chocolate Empanadas with Blood Orange Dipping Sauce
Makes 38 empanadas
This is one of those chicken or the egg recipes. I'm not sure whether I started with the blood orange dipping sauce or the chocolate empanadas. All I can tell you is that it seems to be a match made in heaven. The blood orange sauce compliments the chocolate and the wrappers add a nice crunch to the whole dish. You also have the advantage of being able to prep the empanadas in advance since you need to fry them from the frozen state. You can also freeze the dipping sauce if you'd like.
You can find the gyoza/potsticker wrappers either in the produce department or in the frozen food section depending on your grocery.
6 ounces semi-sweet (58%) chocolate, finely chopped
1 habanero, seeded and deveined, cut into 4 pieces
6 tablespoons almond butter
7 to 8 (about 1 1/2 ounces) dried apricots, very finely diced
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package gyoza/potsticker wrappers
high heat oil for frying
grated Mexican chocolate for garnish
Blood orange dipping sauce
3 cups fresh squeezed blood orange juice
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup honey
Prepare the chocolate filling by combining the chopped chocolate with the habanero in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir to melt the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the heat and discard the habanero pieces. Stir in the almond butter, apricot pieces, and vanilla. Refrigerate the mixture for about 20 minutes until it reaches a spoonable consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes.
To assemble the empanadas, place a gyoza wrapper on the counter. Lightly moisten the wrapper with water using either your fingertip or a pastry brush. Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling centered in the lower half. Fold the top half over the filling to form a semi-circle and press to seal. It's important to make sure that the edges are tightly sealed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Place the finished empanadas on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen, you can place them in a resealable container or bag to store them until you're ready to serve.
To prepare the dipping sauce, combine the blood orange juice with the sugar in a heavy bottom 4 quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat and continue to cook until the sauce has reduced by half to1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Pour the sauce into a resealable container and let it come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
To cook the empanadas, heat about 4 inches of oil in a heavy pot over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Add 5 frozen empanadas and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and dust with the grated Mexican chocolate. Continue with the remaining empanadas. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.
Jill's Wine Recommendation: I love to pair blood orange with Riesling based dessert wines. The 2004 Ernst Bretz Riesling Eiswein from Rheinhessen, Germany, works well with citrusy desserts, but still has enough weight to hold up to chocolate.